A study of the portrayal of virginity in Ugandan novels
Owor, Joseph Jakisa
Gulere, Cornelius Wambi
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This paper examines the portrayal of virginity in Akiki K. Nyabongo’s, Africa Answers Back (1936), Mary Okurut’s Invisible Weevil (1998) and Jane Bakaluba’s Honeymoon for Three (1975). The study analyzes the place of virginity in African traditional marriage. The girls are trained by the elder mothers and aunts to remain a virgin until their wedding night. In Africa, virginity is highly valued that even if one is not a virgin, one is better off to pretend in order to avoid embarrassment. This study has used a qualitative content analysis of three Ugandan novels to unfold subjective interpretation of the text data preceded by identification of the themes and the main characters. Qualitative content analysis has guided us to investigate how important virginity is in African traditional marriage. This study found out that in African traditional marriage, virginity is one of the core values that are cherished because it brings stability and harmony into marriage. Africans believe that if a girl has been faithful before her wedding she will remain faithful even in her marriage. Premarital sex is horrible because it steals the woman’s virginity and destroys the foundation of upcoming marriage.